Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

Call to action

Seyyed Hossein Nasr, University Professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University Seyyed Hossein Nasr, University Professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University Festival of Faith
26 Sep
Hot on the heels of the Pope’s climate change encyclical, a group of Islamic scholars has released its own call for adoption of ambitious goals at the Paris COP21 summit in December

Entitled the ‘Islamic Declaration on Climate Change’, the document draws parallels between passages from the Qur’an and the potential threat of climate change. It calls on all countries to adopt such goals as ‘Aim to phase out greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible’ and ‘Commit themselves to 100 per cent renewable energy’.

‘To have a specifically Islamic expression of this issue is very significant,’ said Seyyed Hossein Nasr, University Professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University. ‘The question is who’s going to listen to it? I do not think that Islamic governments will change their actual policies. But I hope that it will be a catalyst for more thinking concerning the environmental crisis in the Islamic world.’

With organisations such as the World Bank labelling Islamic hotspots such as the Middle East and North Africa ‘particularly vulnerable to climate change’, such a public declaration of support for climate talks could be a significant intervention in establishing a global agreement. However, Nasr, a leading figure in the Islamic environmental movement, insists it is not a game-changer by itself: ‘Right now there’s a flurry of interest. But the question is whether it will die down. I hope that it will continue and have the desired effect.’

This article was published in the October 2015 edition of Geographical Magazine

Related items

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in NATURE...


Xavi Bou's artistic visions of flight beguile the eye


Hydropower is considered essential if the world is to reach…


An overlap between populations of grizzly bears and Indigenous groups…


Climate change is having a huge impact on the oceans,…


The first COP26 draft agreement has been released


Marco Magrini explores the complex issue of carbon markets –…


The youth found marching outside the COP26 conference in Glasgow…


Energy day at COP26 was all about coal. Marco Magrini…


The world is reliant on the climate models that forecast…


Geographical editor, Katie Burton, spends the day at COP26: finance…


Lawyers are using the power of the courts to challenge…


Mike Robinson, chief executive of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society…


Will China's climate pledges be enough to achieve Xi Jinping's…